There will be a community picnic with live music and fun activities for the whole family to enjoy at Centro Hispano of Dane County’s annual “Evening of Dreaming” event on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 4-6 p.m.
“Evening of Dreaming” is an annual fundraiser for Centro Hispano, whose mission to empower youth, strengthen families and engage the community to help Latino families aspire upward in the Dane County area. This year’s event will feature the kickoff of Centro’s community campaign to build its new facility.
“’Evening of Dreaming’ is a great chance for people to come together. We’re really viewing it as a community picnic and a community celebration,” Jamie Quam, director of development at Centro Hispano of Dane County, tells Madison365.
The event will take place on the large back lot — on Hughes Place between Cypress Way and Park Street — behind the current Centro Hispano building, 810 W. Badger Rd.
“The program will take place from 4:30-5 p.m. During this program, we will start with a land acknowledgment and then tie of that land acknowledgment to the Latinx community,” Quam says. “We also have a few live poems being read by a number of wonderful people including one of my colleagues Alondra [Quechol] and Oscar Mireles, president of Omega School.”
The welcome for the event will be given by Ricardo Gonzalez, the longtime owner of The Cardinal Bar. Karen Menendez Coller, executive director of Centro Hispano, will deliver the keynote address.
“Karen will have a special announcement at the event as will our board president, Nancy Francisco-Welke,” Quam says. “That announcement will have to do with launching of the public phase of the campaign, and really having a call to action to join in this public phase of the capital campaign.”
From 5-6 p.m., Centro Hispano will invite people to participate in a number of activities ranging from a photo booth to tie-dying activities for children and food and refreshments.
“We will have a lot of kids activities, especially for little kids, working with Play ‘n’ Learn that we work here with at Centro,” Quam says.
“We will also have an oral history booth in which we will invite our community members to share in Spanish or English – whatever they prefer – where they will answer certain questions about their joyous memories, their hopeful memories and their hopes for the future,” Quam adds. “And then we will have a live band and dancing.”
“Evening of Dreaming” will also be a chance to tour the site of Centro’s future home and view renderings of the future building. Centro has launched its community campaign to build a new two-story, 25,000-square-foot home for the Latinx community on Madison’s south side and to seed the development and expansion of the organization’s workforce and educational programs. The effort got a recent boost from the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to Campaign CENTRO, which is looking to raise $15 million.
“We have raised just over $12 million of the campaign. So we’re doing very well. There will be more updates at the event that people are going to want to hear as far as where we’re at with our main goal and our plans to finish the campaign,” Quam says.
Centro Hispano’s new home will be located at the corner of Hughes Place and Cypress Way, just blocks from its current home on Madison’s south side. With the new facility and seed funds for program expansion, Centro Hispano will be able to support 1,000 more community members a year, double the youth enrolled in afterschool and summer programs and expand its Healthcare Career Program to include a Nursing Career Pathway by 2030, according to Centro Hispano’s website.
“We have shared with our staff the renderings of what the inside of the building will look like and everybody here is so happy to have more space for classrooms, more space for events, more space for staff to work in person,” Quam says. “I think this event is really important because we are all just really excited about being able to come together again after the pandemic when we were all working remotely. Being at Centro is so much a part of who we really are.”
Centro Hispano of Dane County’s annual “Evening of Dreaming” event will take place Wednesday, Sept. 28, 4-6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP required. Register here.